Denver death metal astronauts Blood Incantation are back with their proper sophomore album and if you thought they hadn’t embraced their love of interstellar insanity, then wait until you check out their album cover for Hidden History of the Human Race.
The atmosphere on the album is omnipresent; something to keep that edge and fear alive in the listener. The idea that humans were enslaved by aliens to serve said masters as an unwritten history would make late night viewers of The History Channel blush, yet it serves as the lyrical bedrock for these four tracks, one of which is an 18 minute suite.
Odes to Death’s Human are all over this album as it was arguably the first death metal album to include celestial themes that Blood Incantation fully embrace both lyrically and with atmosphere. The idea of the great pyramid at Giza being designed as a power plant for extraterrestrials is a fun and interesting concept, complete with Egyptian themes, perhaps a nod to Nile’s long career? “The Giza Power Plant” can be brutally heavy too, leading to the idea again of human enslavement. It is a great dichotomy of perspective and sound excellently executed by the band.
Album closer “Awakening from the Dream…(Mirror of the Soul)” is an absolute beast that runs the gamut of different styles of death metal and aforementioned atmosphere. It starts out like what you would expect a closer to such a death metal album would sound like, complete with catchy and angular riffs. Subtlety is key on this track, too. Riffs are slightly modified throughout the album and on repeated listens you can digest each and every morsel of them.
It slows down near the end of the first third of the track and lets the existential dread wash over you like you are a part of a galactic gravesite. Eventually you careen back into the music. There are heavy influences, specifically from Death’s “Vacant Planets,” however it is made very much Blood Incantation’s. The outro portion of the song allows for the listener to re-collect themselves and take off the edge of a song that serves as half of the running time of the album in total.
Blood Incantation have continued to hone their craft and travel further into the depths of the universe. For an album that starts out as chaotic as it does, it certainly does give the impression of domination of one species by force and then leaving without a trace by album’s end, something that isn’t immediately noticeable. In a year full of great death metal releases by bands like Tomb Mold, Nocturnus AD, Nucleus, and Cerebral Rot among others, Blood Incantation manage to carve their own niche. Hidden History of the Human Race is one of the best and well rounded releases of the year.
(released November 22, 2019 on Dark Descent Records)
Heavy Music Headquarters Rating:
Watch Blood Incantation – “Slave Species Of The Gods” Video